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We've come a long way from our voiceover beginnings, but time has changed and so has technology and so has our passions.

Today, you can find us in the colcoation data center niche. As more and more companies grow larger and larger, the need for data has never been as big.

This leads to a hole wave of entrepreneurs that need answers...and good ones.

With all the noise out there, we hope to be a voice of reason for the small business owner. There are a ton of insights on this website but if we missed something and there is something specific you need help with then shoot us a message and let us know. Where here to help.

Today, we explore the crazy world of “Dark Fiber” and what it means to Oklahoma City data centers on LinkedIn. Dark Fiber originated mostly as a result of the crash of the NASDAQ in March 2000. Prior to this crash, there was a period of extreme investment optimism. This period is now commonly referred to as the Dot Com Bubble. The stock market was skyrocketing and investors were desperate to maximize their earnings on this potential, many by pouring money into highly speculative internet-based companies commonly referred to as Dot Coms. As a result, investment firms and major corporations received a windfall of added investment capital. Because telecommunication, and more specifically fiber, was considered a great investment in the future, a large portion of these funds was invested in the expansion of optical fiber roots nationwide to enhance telecommunication infrastructures.

Unfortunately, after the crash of 2000, these funds dried up. Many of the companies that had the rights to these fiber networks either went bankrupt or had to abandon their goals of utilizing this fiber. This resulted in tens of thousands of miles of unlit, Dark Fiber. Dark Fiber is optical fiber that is lying dormant in the ground. Now, Telecomm providers are gradually buying the rights to this fiber and lighting it to meet the needs of their customers. This presents great opportunities for these providers and their customers who get great bargains for the underutilized fiber networks.

Until recently, it was common for businesses to pay an average of about $4,000 a month for a 45 megabytes per second DS3 circuit. Now, due to utilization of formerly Dark Fiber, it is not unusual to find a 100 megabytes per second Fast E circuit for as little as $2,500 a month.

Dark Fiber Model

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Today, we are going to cover one of the most overrated terms in the security industry, which is Next Generation Firewalling, something that’s dominating our market for the last five years, especially in the Oklahoma data center market. Until now, nobody’s made a good explanation on what it technically means, and where it’s very useful, and basically where it’s not. And based on a couple of whiteboarding examples, I’d like to talk you through a couple of those examples and what it means for your security setting.

So, if we look at what a Next Generation Firewall means, we have to break it down on where it makes sense and where it doesn’t. Typically, where you employ your firewalls, it comes down into two different settings. One is what we call a data center deployment and the other one is what we call a colocation environment. If we take a deeper look at the Next Generation Firewall term, we take what we call a neutral resource instead of taking what every vendor thinks it to be. We’re taking a look at what, by the definition Next General Firewall. And it really means four things.

At first, you need to be what we call a First Generation Firewall or a 5-tuple Firewall. And typically, for the last couple of years, every firewall makes their allow or deny decision based on five different things. And it’s what we call the 5-tuple Firewall. Everybody does that, from Cisco, to Juniper, and from Palo Alto to 4G Net.

The next thing that you must qualify for is what they call an IDS or an IPS, an Intrusion Detection or an Intrusion Prevention System, something that allows you to dig deeper into your data stream and to see whether a code is malicious, yes or no, and make a more knowledgeable decision whether to allow the traffic, yes or no. Again, everybody has this for the last couple of years already, nothing really special.

The last two is what makes the distinction. The first one is what they call AVC, Application, Visibility, and Control. And what it really means is that an application visibility should be distincting Facebook from LinkedIn and even looking at the deeper [inaudible] application like Facebook Chat or LinkedIn email. And the control portion, it’s really a lot of [inaudible] and security policy to say whether that’s allowed, yes or no.

Next Generation Firewall

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Today, we’re going to take a few minutes and find out what is virtualization? There’s a lot of hype about this technology in the industry. Pretty much all of the major operating system vendors are virtualizing or supporting virtualization in one way or another. And, so, let’s take a look and find out what virtualization is and what it does to our IT infrastructure. And even more importantly, how it effects colocation in Tulsa, OK.

So, we have a model that we’ve used for really a couple of decades in the IT industry where we have some vendor brand hardware down here. Insert your favorite. It could be Dell, HP, IBM, whatever you run in your shop. And, then, we have various operating systems that run on top of this hardware. Now, the operating systems are bound to the hardware by drivers. So, if I have an HP ProLiant DL360 for example and I install a copy of Windows 2008 server, if I go into Device Manager, I’ll see drivers that are specific to that piece of hardware. So, I may see the SCSI board driver for that particular server or the video driver for that particular server. And then, of course, on top of this, we run various types of applications and services. Now, this is the way that things have been for a long time in the IT industry and virtualization changes all this. There are a lot of limitations with this traditional model. For example, with this traditional model, we have one operating system per server and that’s it. This operating system monopolizes and controls this piece of hardware. And, of course, the OS is bound to this particular piece of hardware by the drivers. So, of course, this makes backups, and more importantly, restores and migrations very challenging.

So, going back to our example of having a DL360, if I have an operating system on there with applications and I want to migrate that to a different server, maybe a different model HP server, I want to move it over to another vendor server so I can shut this one down and modify some hardware, well as you know, in a non-virtualized space, it’s not really that easy. We can’t just take operating systems, for the most part, and move them around to other servers. Even if we image them correctly, the operating system, when it goes to boot, it expects to see the hardware based upon the driver set that it has currently installed. Failing that, it will typically crash, or blue screen, or something like that.

So, as we look at disaster recovery and talk about disaster recovery, backups are relatively easy, but the restores are the problem. I’ve heard it said that backups are optionals, but restores are not. So, imagine that you have a server that you’ve been backing up faithfully for three or four years, and you get down there, and one day the server fries. And now you have to take that image that you have — you have your data. You have it all backed up, but you want to restore that somewhere in your environment. Well, again, you can’t just take that, for the most part, and restore it to some other server because that image is looking to have that same hardware in there supported by the embedded drivers.

Now, because of this, another side effect of this model in the industry is that we end up with lots of underutilized servers. Pretty much every application vendor wants you to have an isolated server for their application. So, if I go out and I buy an accounting package, the vendor doesn’t want me to take his accounting package and put it on a server with five or six other applications that may cause performance degradation or support problems for the vendor. It’s very difficult to support that kind of thing. And so, typically, your application vendors require that you have an isolated server dedicated to their application or task. And, so, we end up with all these underutilized servers out here in the industry. If you look at industry studies, about 5% to 15% average process utilization across the Intel market and this has become known as server sprawl. Of course, there’s a lot of wasted money here, right? If I spend $10,000 on this server and I’m only using 10% of it, well, in a way of looking at it, I’m kind of wasting $9,000 worth of computing power. Of course, another side effect, an additional cost center of this, is all of the additional support contracts that I have to have for these extra servers. The power consumption probably has extra servers. And, as we’ll see with virtualization, we’re going to be able to radically reduce a lot of these costs and simplify and improve management at the same time.

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Colocation is the practice of housing the server and networking devices of a company in a specialized datacenter for accessing some facilities like radical infrastructure, superior bandwidth, reduced latency, better level of security, and some more advantages that leads to ultimate cost efficiency for maintaining excellent data management and IT infrastructure of a company.

A recent business report has predicted that database management has now become a major concern for most of the IT service sector companies. Huge growth of big data and the requirement of keeping them preserved, managed, and available for random accesshas created a unique demand of a dedicated infrastructure for efficient and cost controlled data management.

Modern colocation centers are the solution for this demand, however, these service centers offers some efficient business services. Colocation data center managed services are of comprehensive quality and they rightly serve their user members in their data management and streamlining as well as to allow 100% control and access over the privacy of mission critical info as well as business applications. 
The benefits of hiring a colocation center narrated here will be explaining how it perfectly complies with the data center needs and how it is better than a conventional data center.

Uninterrupted power capacity
Privet data centers often face challenges for distribution of power capacity specifically when upgrading to IT apps that need power of high density configuration. Colocation data center offers access to a strong power arrangement that conventional data center hardly can afford to offer. This robust power support helps its users to enjoy extra leverage in advanced computing as well as in virtualization.

Colocation facility reduces IT infrastructure as well as IT management cost
Most of the colocation center users have expressed their satisfaction about cost efficiency of colocation data center service. In fact it has been accepted worldwide as a cost effective option than building own data management center as power and cooling requirement often requires more bandwidth which is not affordable always. In lieu of investing in UPS, generator, and HVAC unites for cooling, hiring a colocation center simple saves money, helps in maintaining peace of mind by getting secured and random access/control/store data at better environment.

Data protection and security
One of the most significant Colocation data center managed services and advantages are unique security and robust data protection. These days data regulation has become quite stringent and penalties are quite expensive. In these aspects hiring colocation center service has become a good option for data management, and strong system against unauthorized entre, as well as fire and natural disasters.

24X7 support
Colocation facility offers round the clock service and support for data management and trouble shooting. This adds extra leverage to data access, use, and storage. In addition to it a colocation center offers optimum network reliability and 24-hour up time, which are additional advantages for business organizations.

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Colocation service is one of today’s cost-saving solutions when it comes to managing online businesses.  It is ideal for small and medium-sized companies who would rather outsource their data centres instead of building and operating their own.  If you are thinking of getting your business online and you have heard a lot of things about colocation, rest assured that you have several options to choose from.

data centers

As it is, there are many variations in web hosting tailor-made for the different needs of customers.There are many advantages to hire colocation services:

Less costs: Colocation hosting costs less than paying for a comparable amount of bandwidth into the company’s own place of business but more than typical web hosting.   You can either place your own server equipment into the provider’s rack or you can rent a server from the colocation provider those who provides a bandwidth, IP and power to your server.

Cost of Bandwidth: Colocation hosting comes with higher bandwidth speeds and better redundancy for the network connections at the same cost of a limited bandwidth business grade DSL line.

Outage Protection: Colocation hosting involves facilities with better outage protection, which is very important especially during prolonged power outages.  Many small businesses have a generator to help them but usually that is too small to support the server running throughout the entire situation. Colocation facilities have the power generators and backup power necessary to offer adequate protection against this particular type of outage situation.

Colocation ServicesUpgrade the machines: The fact that the business basically owns the server machinery in a colocation hosting arrangement comes with the advantage of convenience where the business does not have to wait around for the provider to upgrade the machine.

Server software: Basically, there is no need to pay for a second lie when the time comes for the company to move to another location.  The server will be up and running the entire time without facing any outages and associated complications normally occurring when moved to another location.

Security: Colocation services are also great because of the second environment in which the server is stored and maintained.  As data monitoring is the provider’s business, there is a lot of emphasis on protection and security.

Therefore, you should be careful to read all the guidelines properly before you sign into a colocation service deal.